'Controlling and abusive' husband jailed for life for wife's murder
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The family of an "inspiring" woman have paid tribute to her after her murderer was sentenced to life in jail.
Wilfred Jacob was convicted on Tuesday of stabbing to death 41-year-old Linda Vilika at their home in Great Saling on August 19, 2019.
Detectives from Essex Police established Jacob had become convinced Ms Vilika had been cheating on him.
In particular, he had become convinced Ms Vilika was seeing a former partner, despite the fact they had broken up 20 years ago and the man still lived in their native Zimbabwe.
Becoming increasing controlling, he sent her numerous abusive messages and devised a plan to ensure he was alone with Ms Vilika for a prolonged period of time on the day she died.
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He instigated a situation where her brother, who was living with them at the time, was out of the house for the whole day.
Ms Vilika had already told her brother she was planning on leaving Jacob, and when he was confronted with this proposition he attacked her and killed her.
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He claimed he had an ‘epileptic aura’ and could not remember what happened, but a jury took only a matter of hours to find him guilty of murder at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday January 12.
The 43 year-old, of The Street, Great Saling, was jailed for life with a minimum of 18 years at the same court on Wednesday, January 13.
Following the sentencing, Ms Vilika’s family said: “Linda was a strong and confident woman who operated with integrity. She loved her family and friends.
“She inspired us to aim high and made us believe we can achieve anything. She left a gap in our hearts which we will never be able to fill.
“We will forever treasure the beautiful memories we shared with her and strive to make a positive impact on this planet just like Linda did.
They also added their thanks to Essex Police, saying: “We can't thank the police enough for their support.
“We will forever be thankful for the compassion and sensitivity you gave our family.”
Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “In an act borne out of jealousy, Wilfred Jacob took Linda’s life, leaving her family with a huge whole and without someone they cared for dearly.
"She had been trying to rid herself of his controlling and abusive ways and try to forge a happier future. One that, sadly, she will now never see.
“I am pleased we have been able to provide some justice for Linda’s family, although I know no sentence will ever bring her back